The Sphenophyta is a spore-bearing group of vascular plants with both living and extinct (fossil) members found in southwest Virginia. Although this group was abundant and diverse in the late Paleozoic Era, the genus Equisetum is the only surviving genus in this group. The most conspicuous morphological feature of this group is the jointed appearance of the stems and arrangement of appendages in whorls. Another commonly used name for this group is the Arthrophyta meaning, "jointed plants".
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